SAN ANTONIO (KTSA News) – With the reopening of bars, and Halloween and Thanksgiving drawing near, Mayor Ron Nirenberg expects to see a rise in the number of coronavirus cases in San Antonio.
“We are anticipating a surge that we’re seeing in other parts of Texas and the country, and we’re going to do everything we can to make sure it doesn’t negatively impact our community,” said Nirenberg.
The mayor told reporters at the COVID-19 briefing they’ve taken several steps to prepare for another possible surge in COVID-19 cases.
“We have testing and tracing capacity at the volume that’s necessary to ensure that we’re able to track and isolate infections as quickly as possible,” Nirenberg said.
Bars in Bexar County are expected to reopen early next week.
“We’re going to be methodical about that. We’re going to go by the public health guidance,” the mayor said. “Same thing with events. We’re going to go through a public health process before any events are approved and we’re doing that right now.”
He noted the coronavirus protocols at UTSA games at the Alamodome, which include social distancing and contactless service. Organizers planning large events must submit an application, which goes through local health officials before getting approval from the city manager and the mayor.
Part of the problem is the so-called “pandemic fatigue.” People are getting tired of wearing masks and social distancing when they’re in public, but Nirenberg says he’s not lifting the mask mandate.
Some of the COVID-19 numbers have improved lately, but the positivity rate, the percent of positive test results, has risen to 5.8 percent and the goal has been to keep it at 5 percent or lower.
San Antonio Metro Health reported 224 new coronavirus cases and two additional deaths Thursday.